Monthly Archives: September 2013

“Worst Things First” by Mark Bibbins

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Here is a link to today’s poem on Poets.org, “Worst Things First” by Mark Bibbins:

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23701

Analysis:

            I think this poem’s main statement is “life sucks.”  The speaker makes this clear by saying how all the goodness in his life feels pointless and unreal, how the demon within him is pitying him and feeling confined, and how everything that used to bring him pleasure, including the less than positive things like strip teases and nude beaches, aren’t working anymore.

            The part about all the goodness in his life feeling pointless and unreal is expressed with the lines “A bag of thank-you notes fell on me and that was enough/art for one day.  Culturally speaking,/it was more like a year/in the floral trenches, kicked off/with a single boneless kiss.”  To paraphrase these lines, the kisses and thank-yous he receives make him feel like he’s in a trench, which is dreadful in spite of, or perhaps because of, all the flowers.

            The part about his inner demon pitying him and being confined is expressed with the lines “Poor sad demon in his poor dead tree/or is it he who pities me,” and “the dimensions of his confinement.”  The part about how all the things that used to bring him pleasure don’t work anymore is expressed in the lines “My prize is a set/ of teeth, striptease at the nude beach,/audio files of decomposing stars/telling me, if they’re telling me anything, that theory’s just another word/for nothing left to like.”

New Kind of Post

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Hello folks!  I am trying something new with this blog.  My first post in quite awhile will be a brief analysis of today’s poem on Poets.org, “Worst Things First” by Mark Bibbins.  This is the first time I’ve analyzed a poem in quite some time, and it is something I hope to get better at as time goes on.  If you think my analysis is totally off, if you have a completely different analysis, if you have something to add, or if you like my analysis, please say so in a comment.  I will be trying many more literature-related posts that don’t involve making my writing public, and I’m looking forward to seeing which ones people like.